Collection ITC - Ian Thomson collection

Family Momentos Objects

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Ian Thomson collection

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  • Attributions and conjectures: The title is based on the content of the fonds.

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  • 1886-2017 (Creation)
    Thomson, Ian
    Dates of collection: 1943-2017

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Physical description

24.5 cm of textual records. – approx 200 photos. -- 21 objects.

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Biographical history

Ian Thomson was the fourth of five children born to J.M. (Joseph) (1882-1971) and Mary Thomas (1890-1984), both immigrants from Scotland. JM had left Scotland in his late teens, and spent time in both England and Chile before deciding to move to Canada around 1913. Mary arrived in Canada in March 1922. They married soon after her arrival, and in October, JM bought a general store in Irvine, Alberta. The following year their first son, James (Jim) was born. After a fire destroyed the store in 1925, JM purchased a store in Milo, and their second child, Joe Jr was the first baby born there. He was followed by sister Jean, then Ian, and Robert.

JM was an active member of the Milo community, serving as its first mayor following incorporation (1931-1937), and again from 1953-1959. He retired from the store in 1950. Jim (1923-1943) was killed while on active service in England. In 1950 Joe (1925-2008) took over the store, which moved to a new building in 1973. The store was sold to new owners when he retired in the early 1980s. Joe spent nine years as Village of Milo councillor (1971-1980), including one as mayor. Jean (1928-2017) became a public health nurse in Nelson, BC. Robert (1935- ) became a Civil Engineer with the government, and worked on projects throughout western and north-western Canada.

Ian (1932- ) left school after grade 10, and enrolled in the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (PITA, later SAIT) to study Agricultural Mechanics. He was a charter member of the Milo Lions Club, and an avid and accomplished curler. He held a Rural Wiremen’s certificate, and farmed in the Milo area until his retirement in 1990. Ian became a dedicated amateur historian and remained on the farm until the spring of 2016, when he moved to High River.

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Scope and content

The collection consists of correspondence, photographs and newspaper clippings (original and copies) regarding Ian Thomson and his family, as well as the residents and history of Milo and surrounding area, collected by JM Thomson and by Ian Thomson.

Also included are artifacts (both from the Thomson family and from the store), and copies of Ian Thomson’s writings and completed research, along with copies of many of the resources he used.

The collection has been arranged into the following series: Correspondence; Curling; Photos; Clippings; Family Mementos; Research & Writings; Objects

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General note

Some information for the Biographical Sketch taken from Snake Valley History Book II.
Includes the following accessions: 2014-01, 2015-14, 2016-02

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